If Walls Could Talk: 7 Unusual Places To Open A Flexible Workspace

If Walls Could Talk: 7 Unusual Places To Open A Flexible Workspace

While typically offices are located in traditional or landmark buildings, there are some that have an extra edge by being located where you’d never expect it

  • Some flexible workspaces are based in landmark or historical buildings
  • However, there are some spaces that are based in iconic, lesser known buildings
  • Establishing a workspace in these lesser known buildings has helped bring back life to the building and its surrounding area

The flexible workspace industry is home to thousands of spaces all over the world. Some of these are based in landmark buildings like The Shard in London (home to The Office Group), the Empire State Building (Virgo Business Centers) and Taipei 101 (The Executive Centre), to name just three.

Others are based in iconic buildings that may be less known, but are equally treasured for their rich, colourful histories and evocative stories from years gone by. From former courtrooms to nightclubs, here we dig into some of the most fascinating buildings that coworkers can now call home.


Office Space in Town’s converted Synagogue in Cardiff, Wales.

Is it the Hebrew lettering over the arched doorway that gives it away? Or the ornate stained glass windows? Formerly a synagogue, Office Space in Town’s long-running business centre in Cardiff, Wales, was originally built around 1896. According to public records it was closed almost a century later, in 1989, and later converted for office use and re-opened in 1997.


Magistrates Court

A former courtroom in Torquay, Devon — complete with 10 cells and a nuclear bunker — is currently on the market by JLL. The company says it has received interest from various developers, including serviced office companies, with a view to converting the abandoned building into office space. The question remains, what would you do with all those cells?



The Ministry in London is a unique coworking space located in a former printing works built in the 1860’s. It’s part of the legendary Ministry of Sound music and nightclub brand and, in keeping with their own industry, it’s designed “by creatives for creatives” – offering space for companies working in music, film, television, fashion and the arts. As you might expect, it’s a ‘work meets play’ space and in addition to workspace, features a full table service restaurant, a technology studio, a cinema, and a seventy-foot bar spanning the entire ground floor.

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Craft Brewery

Three Points Urban Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio, doubles up as a coworking space.

This coworking space in downtown Cincinnati puts a new spin on workspaces providing beer on tap. Yet this one has an unusual twist that’s guaranteed to capture the attention of local coworkers. Three Points Urban Brewery (not exactly a conversion, since the brewery is still very much active) serves coffee, food and of course craft beer, and lets entrepreneurs use its 180-seat workspace during the working week… for free.


Grain Exchange

In downtown Minneapolis, Fueled Collective’s coworking space is located on the historic trading floor of the Minneapolis Grain Exchange. Part of three buildings built in 1902 and used by The Grain Exchange, they are all listed on the National Historic Register and feature a skyway and tunnel system for access to local transport links.



Once a bank, life today could not be more different for this arts and cultural venue in Guatemala City. 1001 Noches (1001 Nights) offers a food court with cuisine from all over the world, bars, live music, DJ sets, coffee, yoga, and of course, coworking — all paid via its own cashless payment system, Mint. Why 1001 Nights? Because the place will reportedly be demolished and redeveloped after 1001 nights, so if you’re in the area, enjoy it while you can.


Automobile Repair Shop

A former repair shop-turned-coworking space in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Tucked away in Rapid City, South Dakota, is a former garage-turned-coworking space that has stayed (somewhat) true to its original vision, by providing a space where people can create, collaborate, and get things done. Opened in the 1930s as an automobile repair shop, The Motor Service Building later became a Studebaker dealership and a classic car showroom, before transforming into a coworking space in 2014.


There are hundreds more where these came from. Got a suggestion? Drop me a note and let me know!

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